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Driving Across the U.S. Border into Canada in a Rental Car

Crossing the US to Canada border in a rental car banner

Crossing an international border, such as the U.S.- Canada border, requires major planning especially if you are traveling in a rental car. Below are some of the essential things you need to know when crossing the border to ensure a hassle-free trip.

Which U.S. car rental companies allow drivers to cross the Canadian border?

Most car rental companies in the United States will permit you to drive your vehicle into Canada, but there are restrictions. Read the terms and conditions of our suppliers below or contact them directly regarding your plans:

What documents do I need to enter Canada?

All personnel traveling in and out of Canada must follow the restrictions that are determined by the Canadian Border Services​ (CBSA) officials in accordance with Canadian law . Below are the essential documents you will need:

  • Proof of citizenship for U.S citizens and permanent residents (e.g. passport, birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, U.S. Permanent Resident Card, or a Certificate of Indian Status with photo ID.) 
  • Membership card for U.S. citizens who are members of NEXUS or FAST programs 
  • Membership card plus passport and proof of permanent residence for U.S. permanent residents who are NEXUS and FAST members
  • Passport and valid visa for international visitors
  • Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative enhanced driver's license​
  •  Tribal ID card for Native Americans
  • Military ID for those traveling on military orders
  • Canadian Non-Resident Insurance Car or ​U.S. auto insurance​
  • Car rental documentation

Does my U.S. rental car insurance cover me in Canada?

Yes since the United States and Canada recognize one another's car insurance and apply the same policies. However, it is important to determine your coverage and requirements from your provider.

If you take a rental car into Canada, ask your rental car agency about proof of insurance. Take note that you need to obtain a Canadian non-resident insurance card, which is available at no cost. Ask your rental agency about it.

The insurance card is a basic document that shows Canadian authorities that you are insured. If you get into an accident, you may be liable for a fine for not having it. Having proof of rental car insurance is strongly recommended before you begin your Canadian vacation.

Remember:

When crossing the Canadian border…

Make sure that you coordinate with your car rental provider so they can give you authorization to drive their vehicle in Canada. There is no need to worry about automobile insurance since  your U.S. insurance is recognized in Canada. Also prepare all the documents that you need to present upon arrival at the border to avoid any delays. 
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